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HUNTINGTON - The Cabell County Board of Education may decide the school calendar for the 2018-19 and/or the 2019-20 school years following the second and final public hearing on the matter Tuesday evening at its regular meeting in Huntington.

The board also will take up whether to approved reduction-in-force, or RIF, measures affecting 61 professional employees and 10 service personnel, as well as transfers for an additional 61 professional employees and 12 service personnel.

The Cabell County Board of Education meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the board's central office at 2850 5th Ave. in Huntington. A period for public comment will be available. RIF and transfer actions will be taken up at the beginning of the meeting.

Calendar vote

Though four different calendar options were originally proposed for both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, the board choose to single out two calendar options at its March 20 meeting for further discussion: Calendar B, which starts school for students Aug. 9, and Calendar D, which begins Sept. 4.

Major dates for the Calendars B and D are:

Calendar B

>> First day for students: Aug. 9

>> Thanksgiving break: Nov. 19 to Nov. 25 (full week)

>> Christmas break: Dec. 21 to Jan. 6 (16 days)

>> Spring break: March 25 to March 31 (same as Marshall)

>> Last day for students: May 23

Calendar D

>> First day for students: Sept. 4.

>> Thanksgiving break: Nov. 19 to Nov. 25 (full week)

>> Christmas break: Dec. 21 to Jan. 2 (12 days)

>> Spring break: None

>> Last day for students: June 10

Board members Mary Neely, Skip Parsons, Rhonda Smalley and Alyssa Bond verbally supported Calendar B, while Gordon Ramey backed Calendar D.

A split also appeared between what school employees and the public wanted as the results of the accompanying public opinion survey were released. Of the roughly 800 school employees who voted, more than two-thirds supported either Calendar B or similar Calendar A, which begins school Aug. 13. However, more than 60 percent of the roughly 1,500 public votes were cast for starkly different Calendar D.

Employees and the public did find more common ground regarding spring break - April 1 to 8, which does not align with Marshall University's spring break. Calendar B's spring break does coincide with Marshall's on March 25 to March 29, while Calendar D does not have a spring break. The two demographics were also both in favor of a full week off for Thanksgiving break.

While comments and survey results will be considered, the final decision will be rendered by the Cabell County Board of Education.

RIFs and transfers

The board will consider whether to approve RIF actions affecting 61 professional employees and 10 service personnel, as well as transfers for an additional 61 professional employees and 12 service employees.

Cabell County Schools has faced a similar situation the past two years when 61 employees were laid off and 69 transferred in 2016, though the county was able to hire back every laid-off employee. Similarly, 37 employees were laid off and brought back in 2017, while 35 professional employees and nine service personnel were transferred.

RIFs are typically made in response to decreased funding and school enrollment.

West Virginia State Code prohibits school systems from assigning teachers scheduled to be laid off in a position left vacant due to a retirement or relocation. Because of this, school systems post vacancies out to bid and make the position available to all current school employees in that county.

RIF-affected teachers who are hired back effectively eliminate their former positions as they move into jobs formerly occupied by teachers who have resigned.

Other business

The board also will consider whether to replace and resurface Cabell Midland High School's football field and track, a total $783,842 project proposal from FieldTurf USA and funded through the district's excess levy.

Cabell Midland's turf field is original to when the school switched from grass to turf at the beginning of the 2010-2011 year. No timetable for completion was listed.

Davis Creek Elementary School and the Cabell County Alternative School also may receive new windows, should the board also approve the combined $519,452 in improvements - more than $400,000 of which invested solely in Davis Creek.

Follow reporter Bishop Nash on Twitter at @BishopNash.


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